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14 May, 2009 11:41

US can fight terrorism without torturing POWs

President Barack Obama has reversed his decision to release photographs of prisoner abuse by US personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Around 2,000 images were to be made public at the end of this month, as ordered by a federal court, but having seen them, the President now says their release could cost the lives of American soldiers overseas.

This decision comes just three weeks after the Obama administration said that it would release those photographs. Allegedly it was due to top military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan that advised Barack Obama against this. If the photographs are released it will harm the troops and make them more prone to attacks, particularly in the Muslim world including Iraq and Afghanistan where US troops are struggling right now.

The memories about the media storm that occurred when the Abu Ghraib photos were released forced Obama to think twice and take the US troops into consideration before making any decisions.

The photographs issue became a topic of very much heated debate on many American TV shows. Liberals, Obama’s main support base, are none-too-thrilled with his turnaround. They want to see the people who committed the acts of torture held accountable for the crimes they committed, and by not releasing those photographs it is slowing down the process.

“These photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially compared to the painful images we remember from Abu Ghraib,” Obama said.

One argument that has arisen is that he has already released the CIA memos that detailed the abuse of detainees, so what is the point in releasing the photographs?

In addition, discussions about whether the enhanced methods of interrogation work or not, or if they even provide the US with the intelligence they need, are not likely to start in American society any time soon. This is something the US policy and law makers are going to argue about for a long time to come.

“For several years our government has been fighting terrorism without using these extreme methods, I can comment on that both worldwide and in Iraq,” reported Philip Zelikow, legal council to the ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Many analysts strongly believe that torture techniques do not work and the US can do perfectly fight terrorism without them.